[sane-devel] sane and scanDoX fujitsu drivers

Brian K. White brian@aljex.com
Fri, 30 May 2003 09:37:29 -0400

Peter Santoro wrote:
> I'm considering on buying a fujitsu scanparter scanner ( 93GX, fi-4220C, 
> 15c, or 620c), but I want to be certain that I purchase one that is well 
> supported by sane (or perhaps scanDoX).
> The folks at scanDoX indicate that fujitsu 15c/620c scanparter scanners 
> are supported in sane via sp15c driver:
> http://www.mu-tec.de/scandox/sdx/features_supported-scanners.html
> The sane website appears to contain conflicting information:
> ScanPartner 15C: driver is sane-avision, status is untested
> SP15C: driver is sane-sp15c, status is beta
> Am I just misreading something here?  Which information is correct?
> Thank you for your assistance,
> Peter

I can't comment on sane support, but I can say that in general the 620c is 
a very good scanner. My company sells an add-on which I wrote for our main 
application that basically adds document scanning to any/every screen or 
file in the database. several customers have been using the add-on for 
over a year now quite heavily. Before we installed the first guy, I looked 
at a lot of scanners at a big document imaging convention in NYC (the aiim 
show) and settled on the 620c. we continued to recommend that model to 
everyone and mostly that's what they always get (one guy who got other 
models just got higher-end models in the same family since he needed more 
speed and they have been excellent as well), and so I have by now seen 
many of these units in heavy, all day every day use, usually at least two 
units per site. And they have turned out to be real workhorses. The feeder 
happily sucks in the worst crumpled, torn, tissue-thin specimens without 
snagging, and in the rare occasion it snags, the access to free the paper 
path is the simplest and quickest I've seen. My most idiotic users have 
not even had a problem with it.

The one part that they (fujitsu) know will eventually wear out, a rubber 
pad that holds back all but the bottom sheet in the feeder input hopper, 
they supply you with an extra, and my very first user is just over 2 years 
in use now, has still not needed that part.

There is one problem though.
The bulb in the scanner does not shut off as far as I have noticed, so you 
should really turn the scanner off at night so as not to waste 1/2 of the 
useable hours of life, but, if you don't also turn off your computer, then 
most computers have been unable to find the scanner once you turn it off 
even after you turn it back on. You have to have the scanner on before the 
  computer is turned on. On some sites the scanner is used heavily only 
for a couple hours late in the day, this means they have to either leave 
the scanner on all the time, burning up 22 hours of bulb for every 2 that 
are actually used, or they have to power-cycle their pc just after turning 
on the scanner before using it for a couple hours.

by comparison, another guy decided to go with canon 5080's (5080c?) well 
they are pretty, and they are snappy, and they can scan in duplex, and 
they are waaaay more convenient on the desk, but the driver was quite a 
little puzzle and required non-trivial manual adjusting (forcing the 
driver to choose the correct one of two possible files at every scan by 
deleting the the file that doesn't match your particular model) and the 
hardware is less than relable (chokes on imperfect specimens a lot easier, 
very easily in fact) less than always true (it tends to grab the sheets 
and feed them through at a slight tilt and it gets worse with time, better 
with cleaning and scuffing some of the rollers), less than simple as far 
as the mechanics and operation of the in & out trays, rollers, paper-path 
access, and costs about 4x what the sp620c does.

All in all, a scanner like that is a mild investment, and I thought you'd 
appreciate some good hard anecdotal in the field track record. And these 
are all trucking companies my customers. The users are reasonably careful 
people being clerical/accounting types, but the papers come from truckers, 
who do not hand in nice pressed, ironed & starched flat papers :) and the 
environments are usually very dusty, being attached to big warehouses and 
garages and truck yards. In the end, my ideal goal was to find a good 
enough scanner that after I install it, I never get support calls to keep 
it going. This has turned out to be the case. The thing is built like a 
good old xerox machine or ibm keyboard :)

It is an art form though, trying to put the thing on the desk or close 
enough to it that the scsi cable reaches, and the user can reach both the 
in & out trays without straining, and still leave them any desk space left 
over. :)

Brian K. White  --  brian@aljex.com  --  http://www.aljex.com/bkw/
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